ZOOM MEETING LINK / RECORDING
Community Advisory Board Members:
John Bailey, Tom Bunger, Joan Curts, Pamela Davidson, Mark Edwards, Hope Flores, Sally Gaskill, Sara Laughlin, Cullen McCarty
Mary Ducette, Brent Molnar, Joan Padawan, Marianne Woodruff, Eva Zogorski
Roll Call – Brent Molnar
WTIU Live Streaming Now Available (Demo)
Bloomington, Ind., August TBD, 2020 — Today, WTIU Public Television launched a new way for viewers to watch its programming. A live stream of WTIU’s HD 30.1 channel is now available through WTIU’s website (wtiu.org/live), PBS’s website (video.pbs.org), and the PBS Video App on television-connected Roku streaming devices.
“This is another exciting milestone in the history of our station, adding to our ever-expanding delivery options for quality WTIU and PBS content to south central Indiana,” said Rob Anderson, Interim Executive Director of WTIU.
The live stream can be viewed on a computer or on other devices that support the following web browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. On television-connected Roku streaming devices, the WTIU live stream can be viewed through the PBS Video Channel.
“Today marks a significant milestone with the launch of local livestreaming on PBS.org, station video portals, and the PBS App on Roku,” said PBS Chief Digital and Marketing Officer Ira Rubenstein. “Viewers can now watch their station how, when, and where they want to, regardless of their provider. We now have an option for cord-cutters to watch live station signals free of charge that aligns with over-the-air access to broadcast.”
In order to view the WTIU live stream, viewers must be localized to WTIU and be physically located within the WTIU over-the-air coverage area. The station serves the south central Indiana region, including the cities and towns of Bloomfield, Bedford, Bloomington, Columbus, Linton, Martinsville, Nashville, Seymour, Spencer, and Terre Haute. Viewers do not need to be a member of WTIU or pay a fee to watch the live stream.
“Our goal has always been to serve as many viewers as possible, using the platforms and technology they find easiest to access. The technology we use to serve our mission is constantly evolving. Over the years, it has allowed us to add services like closed captioning, descriptive video, high definition, and more recently, five multicast channels. Each of these advances involved a lot of planning and hard work, but we couldn’t have achieved them without the investment of our WTIU members,” said Brent Molnar, Station Operations and Content Director of WTIU.
WTIU / IPBS, Jennings County School Corp. Expand Access to Remote Learning via Innovative Datacasting Solution
INDIANAPOLIS – Jennings County School Corporation (JCSC) and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, Inc. (IPBS) have entered into a partnership that will provide datacasting technology to roughly 1,200 students in Jennings County who have little or no access to reliable broadband. Datacasting overcomes the unmet need for internet access by sending computer based files over a television broadcast signal.
IPBS member-station WTIU in Bloomington and SpectraRep, a leading provider of datacasting solutions, will carry out the implementation. Funding for the project was made possible by a $1.38 million grant awarded through Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s emergency education relief program (GEER Fund) to JCSC and IPBS. The GEER Fund was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for the purpose of developing and improving the availability of distance/remote learning techniques and technologies.
Jennings County is a predominantly rural county located in southeastern Indiana. Datacasting has the potential to change the remote learning landscape for children and educators in rural, low-income, and internet desert communities because of its ability to transmit the same instructional content and educational resources that would normally require an internet connection.
“We are delighted to be among the first school districts in the nation to use educational datacasting,” said JCSC Superintendent, Teresa Brown. “When the pandemic hit, we knew we needed a sustainable cost-effective solution to enable remote learning in the areas of our county where internet connections are challenging, and datacasting was the answer.”
The GEER grant provides for equipment that will enable WTIU to stand up datacasting at their station and simple receivers and antennas for households that will pick up the signal and relay it to inexpensive Chromebooks and tablets over Wi-Fi.
“The datacasting implementation in Jennings County will serve as a proof-of-concept that can be replicated in counties and school districts across Indiana,” according to Mark Newman, IPBS Executive Director. “It can be a game-changing technology for areas of the state where broadband is limited or unavailable.”
The datacasting initiative will be ramped up over the next two months. It is expected to be available for household use in early November.
Other datacasting opportunities WTIU should consider pursuing? Suggestions?
- Public safety/first responders
- Advanced severe weather alerts
- Job retraining
- Rural economic development
- Military training/communication
- Non-profit continuing education/training/virtual conferences
- Childcare continuing education/training/certification courses
- GED on TV/testing/ed materials
- Eldercare providers
- Parent-Teacher Classroom instruction/support for parents in at home instruction
IPBS Television Coverage / Southeast Indiana Expansion
A small portion of southeastern Indiana is underserved by an Indiana public broadcasting station. This area is currently served by the PBS transmitters in the Cincinnati and Louisville markets. IPBS has explored several ways to get Indiana content to Hoosiers in this area, but has hit roadblocks to every option.
In late August, a Jefferson County, Indiana PEG Channel, Madison TV15, reached out to WTIU to inquire about adding Indiana Public Television content to their program lineup.
We believe that partnering with community access channels in several counties along the Ohio River may be a way to increase the reach of Indiana Public Broadcasting’s content, without affecting our PBS dues formula or invoking new FCC filings.
WTIU and IPBS are putting together a Memo of Understanding which can be used as a template for agreements between IPBS TV stations and PEG channels.
Madison TV15 is also planning to help us establish contacts at other PEG channels along the Ohio River valley.
3rd Annual WTIU Conference on Aging
The third annual WTIU Conference on Aging will be held online every Saturday at 10am from October 3 through November 21, 2020.
WTIU is pulling together area experts and resources to help participants find the answers to many questions associated with getting older, including important issues that can help you and your family. You’ll learn what to ask, who to ask, and how to make wise decisions now that keep your options open as you age.
The conference will cover various aging-related topics, including COVID-19, Social Security, Medicare, the stages of aging, the sandwich generation, saving for and making money in retirement, intimacy and aging, and collecting family stories. Each session will include a live chat feature so participants can ask experts questions.
The sessions are free and are open to both caregivers and those who would like some advice on more informed aging. Register online at wtiu.org/aging.
WTIU – PBS Brand Refresh Survey and Discussion
The survey was sent by e-mail to people on WTIU’s contact lists. Responses to a couple of questions may be skewed because of the electronic distribution/format, but overall, we feel like the feedback we received about PBS’ new look and how to integrate the WTIU logo with it were all pointing in the same direction.
Q5 How they consume our content
Q6 Conservative vs. Liberal
Q8 vs. Q13 Brands they associate with WTIU vs. ones we should asso
Q9, Q11 Can pick out the WTIU Logo and feel an affinity for it.
Q14 New options/directions
Q21-24 Services – What we do well and what we could improve
IPBS Fall Meeting
The Annual IPBS Conference will occur between October 12-30, 2020.
WTIU CAB Members will want to watch for a special opportunity to join PBS’ Paula Kerger and NPR’s John Lansing for insights and discussion sometime between these dates. (Brent will provide more information about how to register as it becomes available.)
New IPBS Virtual Conference link:
Future WTIU CAB Meetings (and COVID-19) Live, Virtual or Too Early to Call?
- December 3, 2020 – Will be a virtual meeting
- March 4, 2021 (TBD)
- June 3, 2021 (TBD)
- September 2, 2021 (TBD
- December 2, 2021 (TBD)
Proposed Arts Program Treatment?
The CAB discussed what might be possible in terms of additional arts content. The idea of “The Creative Economy” kept circulating, highlighting the contributions of Indiana’s artists, makers, craftspeople, and others who create economic opportunities for themselves and others through their work.
Not yet sure whether the content should be a long form doc, series of interstitials/fillers for use between programs, reoccurring segment in an existing series, or digital shorts at this point.
Brent Molnar pointed out that the station’s grant writer position is currently open, and with the IU hiring freeze, is unlikely to be filled for some time. CAB Members can help by keeping their eyes open for appropriate arts and humanities grants that might help fund the project. If appropriate grant opportunities can be identified, a few CAB Members may be called upon to assist with writing the requests because of their experience. We will need guidance from the WTIU Business Office and other Grant Entities on campus to make sure we are going about it the right way.
Other Ideas and Issues
Government Meeting Calendar
Mike Hefron asked whether we would have the resources to develop a government meetings calendar for our coverage area. He hasn’t been able to find anyone else already doing that – and thinks it might be a need we could serve. “No one else can do something like that in Bloomington.”
Hefron says that he has been surprised when he stories pop up covering decisions that have already been made by town councils, but never heard of when the meeting for public comment may have been in the first place.
Next time, review Q21-24 of the Brand Refresh Survey – especially the responses to Q23 “In what areas could WTIU improve?”